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Everyone knows that we need to eat more vegetables. But that can take a lot of work to execute as a first responder. You might fill up your cart with veggies at the beginning of the week, only to be stuck with rotten, uneaten produce at the end of the week. The ideas below will help you use the veggies purchased without adding a ton of prep time
Many first responders are turning to greens or vegetable powders to “replace” their daily veggie intake. While the marketing for these products sounds promising, getting 2-3 cups of veggies daily should still be the priority. Veggies have more water, fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants than powders. However, these powders may help fill some nutritional gaps and can be treated like a multivitamin. Multivitamins are often cheaper, with some powders costing over $100 for a month-long supply.
If you want to spend extra money on greens powders, confirm that they are third-party tested or certified (ex., Informed Choice or NSF Sport). This will help ensure that the powders have what the label states are in it. Please stick to the serving size; more is not always better when it comes to supplements.
According to the USDA, adults should eat 2-3 cups of vegetables daily. This can include a variety of vegetables such as leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, root vegetables, and more. Eating a balanced diet consisting of various colorful vegetables can provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber to support overall health and wellness. These are essential for recovery from shiftwork, optimizing energy, and preventing disease. Fresh, frozen, and canned veggies all count towards this goal!
Megan is a Registered Dietitian and coach who specializes in firefighter nutrition. Megan’s mission is to help firefighters perform better, recover faster, and enjoy long, healthy retirements. Megan is the owner of RescueRD LLC, which provides nutrition seminars and coaching for tactical athletes across the country. Check out @Rescue.RD on Facebook and Instagram.